TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta: The development of H5N1 bird flu virus in Indonesia has been faster than that of any other country.
A molecular biology researcher from Airlangga University, Surabaya, Dr.C.A. Nidom, said that in Indonesia the H5N1 virus has already mutated to five subdivisions, on Monday (26/11).
“In other countries however, the mutation found was only three virus variants,” said Nidom.
The subdivisions of mutated virus in Indonesia are divided into type A, B, C, C1 and D.
Categories A and B have spread in Sumatra, with category C in Kalimantan.
Category C1 has spread in several places, while category D is found in Papua and southern Sumatra.
“We're also surprised that the virus in Indonesia is under local law, so between one area and the other they're different. The virus even mutated,” added Dr Nidom.
Therefore, now a molecular review is still required in order to identify the different characteristics of the virus types.
The mutation of the H5N1 virus in Indonesia, said the chief of Bio Safety Level-3 (BSL-3) bird flu laboratory, was still on a small scale.
Therefore, the handling must also be adjusted to the virus characteristics.
In addition, so far a medicine for bird flu patients has not yet been found.
“Tamiflu is actually a regular flu drug, but instead of nothing at all, Indonesia decided to use Tamiflu,” he said.